Last month, Time.com named Hulu the #4 best invention of 2008. Hulu was bookended by The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and The Large Hadron Collider. While this ranking seems to be a bit extreme, especially since Hulu was only the 31st best website of 2008 also according to Time, there is no doubt it has made a major impact in the distribution and monetization of digital content and online video.
Hulu was in-part created by NBC Universal and News Corp. as a response to the behemoth that is YouTube. The purpose of Hulu is to distribute their programs on their terms. While this was first met with some criticism, this is now for the most part non-existent. The behemoth that is still YouTube, still based in UGC, is now feeling pressure from Hulu, and as a response YouTube is scrambling to partner with traditional media companies like Metro-Goldwyn Mayer and CBS. YouTube is taking many steps to monetize its site (media partnerships to attract advertisers, sponsored videos in search results), but it seems like these steps are not enough. The Financial Times reported Hulu is set to surpass YouTube in revenues by 2010, the majority of this being advertising revenues.
So, what is the difference between the advertising opportunities on Hulu and those on YouTube?